Thomson Cruises Rebrand Marella

(4:17 p.m. BST) -- Cruise Critic members have likened Thomson Cruises' new name -- Marella Cruises -- to an underwear brand and a chocolate spread.

Others have simply said: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," referring to last week's announcement that Thomson Cruises would drop its name when parent company Thomson rebrands at the end of this month.

Marella is in fact already a girl's name, an Italian clothing brand sold through John Lewis and a wine label in the U.S.

The word Marella was chosen by the company to reflect its spirit of exploration and discovery across the seas and means "shining sea" in Celtic.

Posting on the Boards, Cruise Critic member vitalsign said: "I'd only just got used to saying TUI and now this - Marella sounds like an underwear brand it's awful. And a blue box logo along with the TUI smile - too much."

Viatlsign added: "Apart from the visas will we need to take Marella tablets as well?"

While WeeCountyMan said: "As a laddie I vaguely remember a chocolate spread of that name (or similar ?) - nice on toast !!!

"Am I the only one of the mindset - if it ain't broke, don't fix it !!!"

Writing on the site, Peter Littlewood spoke for many when he said: "I don't like the name but I can understand why they wish to separate their cruise offering from their hotels/beach holidays. "A name which their British cruisers can identify with would have been a better idea. Why didn't they ask us?"

Helen Caron, Thomson/Marella director of cruise, said that the name had come from numerous surveys conducted with past passengers and had not been chosen out of the blue.

"It was the most popular name with passengers by far," she said at the Abta Travel Convention in the Azores last week.

Other members were less dismissive. Davectr said: "Marella, either Star of the Sea or Shining Sea in Celtic."

As reported in last week's story, the name change will be reflected in the ships, which will be rebranded Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 and Marella Explorer, which launches next year.

There is still no fixed date for the Thomson to TUI rebrand, though it is expected to be at the end of this month.

--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, Cruise Critic U.K.